Sunday, October 20, 2013

Throwing Rocks

There is an elegant sculpture on our school campus. We live on this beautiful campus filled with trees. The sculpture is of trees and birds. It is glorious. Every time I see my son look up at this sculpture with wide eyes and his signature smile I get chills. The best part about this sculpture though are the rocks. Joshua was playing with the ocean rocks at the base of this sculpture before it was even built. He continues to play with the rocks. He gathers shiny rocks, speckled rocks, smooth rocks, and rough rocks. He names their characteristics as he sees them and gently places them on the wall at the base of the sculpture. He does not throw the rocks. At first we were concerned, but once he was so amazed at the beauty of these rocks he naturally started treating them respectfully. This is a reminder to me of our innate sense of wonder and gratitude at nature. We all need to be sure we don't lose this sensibility as we age.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bugs and Space!

"BUG!" Joshua yells in excitement. We saved yet another spider from our indoor space by scooping him up into our officially titled "BUG CUP" and placing him gently back into the backyard grass. Joshua could save bugs all day long! He is so curious about bugs that since his first day spotting one he yelled, "BUG!" and wanted to touch it. It was a fragile ladybug. Tough enough to survive the harsh environs of the Souther California desert but not rough enough to survive Joshua's curious little hands. What to do then? We want our children to touch, feel and explore with all their senses. In fact I am sure that Joshua, very much still in an oral stage, would have explored that ladybug with his sense of taste as well. So, out of my mouth it came, "Let's give that sweet bug space." And I held up my hand toward the bug with my palm facing it, nearby, but not touching it. Guess what? Joshua did the same thing. And, this has since stuck. Not only for bugs but for a lot of things that he may do better with observing from a close proximity. Examples we have encountered lately, goose poop at the lake, dog poop in a field, and an ant covered banana on the sidewalk. All of these findings were explored with our sense of sight and for some, unfortunately, smell, as we gave them "space." We give bugs space so they can do their important work of pollinating flowers and digging holes in the earth. I teach Joshua that this is giving them respect. The cutest part of this lesson from nature for us is when I see Joshua SO tempted to touch a spider as they are most interesting to him. His hand gets incredibly close and he grunts as his face turns red with huge effort to hold his hand back. He is able though, to give that spider space. How proud I am of his respect for nature. How proud I am of his constant curiosity and love of nature!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Watering the Plants

Source: via Debbie on Pinterest

For the first time today my son watered the plants. He held his little watering can in his tiny hand, leaned it forward and smiled with pride as the water flowed out into the first plant. He loved this experience so very much that he watered every plant, every rock, and most of the sidewalk! It is amazing to me to see how all of his first experiences with nature are greeted with such joy and excitement. He loves to touch every rock and smell every plant. He simply wants to explore with all of his senses. He is playing and learning every moment of every day. I reflected back to the days, only a few months ago, when we sat, rocking in our chair, looking out the window at those plants. Those plants that he is now taking care of and helping to nurture and grow. Compassion, care, and a sense of adventure are the values Joshua learned today with the simple task of watering plants. Pride and growth are internalized in him with each new skill. The world is so much more beautiful when seen through his eyes.